The BackShop Journal

A Gallery of Thoughts on Arts, Culture and Orthodox Christian Spirituality

  • Rostand and the Creation of a Really Big Nose

    Edmond Rostand swam against the current. He is known as a neo-romanticist in the age of naturalism. In this sense, one could call him a traditionalist, but talent runs against all literary classification. And Rostand was talented indeed. He was born 150 years ago. He died 50 years later, just after...
  • Proust in the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower

    One hundred years ago, the second volume of In Search of Lost Time, one of the greatest novels of all time, came out of print. It won Marcel Proust the Goncourt Prize the following year. For the next three years, until his untimely death at the age of 51, Proust feverishly worked on t...
  • Blaise Cendrars and the Power of Death

    "A thousand million people have devoted to me all their activity of a day, their strength, their talent, their knowledge, their intelligence, their habits, their feelings, their hearts. And now I have the knife in my hand. The Bonnot clasp-knife. "Long live humanity!" I feel a cold truth summed up b...
  • Voltaire and the Battle for Religious Tolerance

    François-Marie Arouet (1694-1778), better known by his nom de plume Voltare, was one of the intellectual driving forces that lead to the French Revolution (1789-1799). A writer, historian and philosopher of the French Enlightenment, he is famous for his attacks on the established Catholic Church and...
  • Montaigne and the Renaissance

    The 15th and the 16th century is the time of radical political, social and cultural transformations. The revival of antiquity heightens the contrast between the pagan and Christian worlds; the reform movement in the church divides the Christian world into competing denominations; overseas explo...
Featured Article
Do We Live in a Dystopia?
The literary genre "utopia" acquired its name from the novel by the same title, published by Thomas Moore in 1516. Various authors have tried to imagine a perfect society and describe it in the form of a project, tale, or novel. Plato's Republic is probably the first known utopia, describing th...
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